Weekend Rooting Guide
by Matthew McKinley, 10/12/01

Wow. Check this out. With the exception of VT, every team in the Top 20 is either on the road or hosting another ranked team, the highlight game being (#8) Washington @ (#7) UCLA. Sounds like a weekend primed for upsets. And you know that’s exactly what we like here at the Weekend Rooting Guide (except for upsets of VT, of course).

Every week during the football season, I’ll be looking at the USA Today/ESPN Top 25, VT’s Opponents, and VT’s Opponents’ Opponents. For each game, I’ll look at four reasons to root for a team, and the combinations of those reasons will determine for whom Hokie Fans should root. The categories for rooting interest are Gut Feeling (your instinctual urges on the game, from cool mascots to downright hatred), Conference Implications (anything that makes the Big East look good, or other conferences look bad), Postseason Implications (anything that affects where VT goes bowling), and Strength of Schedule (the game’s effect on VT’s BCS Strength of Schedule calculations, or in case of a tie, the higher rated team from Kenneth Massey’s VT Connectivity Page).

So without any further ado, a-WAYYYYY we go!

Top 25

(#1) Miami (4-0) @ (#13) Florida State (3-1) – 12pm

Tech really needs Miami to be undefeated when they roll into Lane Stadium on December 1st. All other considerations are secondary. Even when they’re playing UFS…errr…FSU.
GF – wash, CI – UM, PI – UM, SOS – UM
Root: the Candy Canes

(#2) Florida (5-0) @ Auburn (4-1) – 7:45pm

Auburn may be 4-1, but they’re nowhere as good as UF. Heck, they lost to Syracuse!
GF – AU, CI – wash, PI – AU, SOS – AU
Root: War Damn Eagle!

(#3) Oklahoma (5-0) @ Kansas (2-2) – 7pm

The pollsters are wondering if OU has the offense to be a #1 team, because they know they have the defense. I have a feeling that the Sooners are gonna put up an old-fashioned UF-style RUTS on the Jayhawks.
GF – wash, CI – KU, PI – KU, SOS – wash (edge: OU)
Root: Look out, here come the Jaaaaayhawks… (I miss those Robert Goulet ESPN commercials.)

(#4) Nebraska (6-0) @ Baylor (2-2) – 2pm

Talk about a David vs. Goliath game. Except that David doesn’t have a chance. Sort of.
GF – BU, CI – BU, PI – BU, SOS – wash (edge: UN)
Root: daaaaaa Bearsssss

Boston College (4-1) @ (#5) Virginia Tech (5-0) – 6:30pm


(#6) Oregon (5-0) @ California (0-4) – 3:30pm

Oregon doesn’t play UW, so we need them to go down some time in a big way.
GF – OU, CI – UC, PI – UC, SOS – UC
Root: daaaaaa Bearsssss (déjà vu?)

(#8) Washington (4-0) @ (#7) UCLA (4-0) – 3:30pm

This is a game I’d really like to see just before going into the game. And this is the game in which I’d like to see UCLA’s heads finally handed to them. Let Miami be the ones to knock off UDub.
GF – UDub, CI – wash, PI – wash, SOS – UDub
Root: Huskies (the Steiner remarks have gotten old)

(#9) South Carolina (5-0) @ Arkansas (2-3) – 3:30pm

Here’s a pretty though. Ar-kansas beats USC, then USC beats Florida. Hmmmm. Gut Feeling still goes with the Cocks, though.
GF – USC, CI – UA, PI – UA, SOS – UA

(#10) Fresno State (5-0) @ Colorado State (2-3) – 10pm

This looks like the only chance for FSU-West to garner a loss, with the exception of a complete mental pooch-screwing against another WAC team.
GF – wash, CI – wash, PI – CSU CSU CSU, SOS – wash (edge: FSU-W)
Root: Rams (not the NFL version, we wouldn’t worry if that were the case)

(#11) Texas (4-1) @ Oklahoma State (2-3) – 12:30pm

Let the slide continue.
GF – OSU, CI – OSU, PI – OSU, SOS – wash (edge: UT)
Root: Cowboys (nobody really cares about the NFL version)

(#16) Purdue (4-0) @ (#12) Michigan (4-1) – 12:10pm

There are a number of reasons I’m going against my long-standing prohibition from rooting for Michicken: Pur-don’t is undefeated, Pur-don’t is undefeated, and Pur-don’t is undefeated.
GF – wash, CI – wash, PI – UM, SOS – UM
Root: Michicken (man, it hurts to say that)

(#20) Maryland (5-0) @ (#15) Georgia Tech (4-1) – 7:30pm Thursday

Yes, GT is ranked higher, but UM is still undefeated.
GF – GT, CI – wash, PI – GT, SOS – wash (edge: GT)
Root: Fuzzy Bees

(#17) Brigham Young (5-0) @ New Mexico (2-3) – 3pm

Who really cares? It’s a Mountain West Conference game! (Pssst…Bring ‘em Young is still undefeated.)
GF – UNM, CI – UNM, PI – UNM, SOS – wash (edge: BYU)
Root: Los Lobos

(#18) Clemson (3-1) @ North Carolina State (3-1) – 12pm

Not really much to this game. Clemson is ranked, but way behind us. And they have a bigger SOS component. Just go with the categories straight up.
GF – CU, CI – NCSU, PI – wash, SOS – CU
Root: Hold that Tiger!

(#19) Texas A&M (5-0) @ Colorado (4-1) – 3:30pm

Colorado has looked pretty impressive since losing to (#10) Fresno State. But then again, so has aTm.
GF – aTm, CI – UC, PI – UC, SOS – wash (edge: UC)
Root: Buffaloes (Tetonka)

(#21) Kansas State (2-2) @ Texas Tech (2-2) – 8pm

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Sucks to be a Wildcat fan right now, huh?
GF – KSU, CI – TT, PI – TT, SOS – wash (edge: KSU)
Root: Go Red Raiders!

Washington State (5-0) @ (#22) Stanford (3-0) – 5pm

Ahhhh. Another undefeated team will stumble in this one. Do we care who? Yes!
GF – wash, CI – wash, PI – wash, SOS – SU
Root: that Christmas Tree lookin’ thingy

Minnesota (1-3) @ (#24) Northwestern (3-1) – 12:10pm

You know what, I just realized that a 12:10pm start in Evanston is actually 11:10am. And we complain about noon games. Sucks to be them.
GF – wash, CI – UM, PI – wash, SOS – wash (edge: NU)
Root: Who's the gopher's ally? His friends. The harmless squirrel and the friendly rabbit.

Wisconsin (3-3) @ (#25) Ohio State (3-1) – 3:30pm

Wisconsin is our friend. They beat Virginia. Me like Wisconsin.
GF – UW, CI – UW, PI – wash, SOS – UW
Root: Well, if we build this wooden badger….

VT Opponents

Syracuse (4-2) @ Pittsburgh (1-3) – 12pm

For the good of the conference, SU needs to keep winning. Sorry, Pitt(sburgh).
GF – Pitt, CI – SU, PI – SU, SOS – SU (see the VT Opp-Opp page)
Root: your favorite breakfast drink other than beer

Rutgers (1-4) @ Temple (1-3) – 4pm

See ya, Temple. We’re really not going to miss you.
GF – RU, CI – RU, PI – wash, SOS – wash (edge: TU)
Root: Miss Scarlet! (Knights)

West Virginia (2-3) @ Notre Dame (1-3) – 2:30pm

Let’s hope that WVU can rebound against those jerks in South Bend, even without Cooper Rego. How pathetic.
Root: Fear the ‘Eers!

Connecticut (2-3) @ South Florida (2-3) – 7pm

How did USF lose to Northern Illinois and manage to beat Pitt? Nobody told me there’d be days like these!
GF – UConn, CI – wash, PI – UConn, SOS – UConn
Root: Huskies (woof, woof)

Bowling Green (4-1) @ Western Michigan (3-2) – 1pm

Is BGU considered a Cinderella story this year? Naah, nobody’s still heard of ‘em.
GF – WMU, CI – wash, PI – WMU, SOS – WMU
Root: Broncos (not the NFL variety, either)

Liberty (2-2) @ Central Florida (2-3) – 6pm

Man, I hate it when one of our opponents plays a 1-AA team. Cough! Cough! UVA!
GF – UCF, CI – wash, PI – UCF, SOS – UCF
Root: We’re Knights of the Round Table, we eat ham and jam and spam a lot!

Virginia (3-2) @ North Carolina (3-3) – 1:30pm

Hey, doc ryan, "terminally insufferable" is right, but not just by the rest of the ACC. Try the rest of the country. Too bad nobody will remain to watch this "quixotic quest" after halftime.
GF – wash, CI – wash, PI – UVA, SOS – UVA
Root: cant…..say….it…..uva

VT Opponents’ Opponents

The numbers in parenthesis at the end of the game listing are the numbers of times that each team shows up on VT’s Opponents’ schedules, as well as the start times for the games. Division 1-AA teams are italicized. Wins don’t count for us in these games, but losses DO count against us.

Rice (4-1) @ Navy (0-3) – (0-3, 12pm): If you read this post, you’ll understand why we should root for Navy.

Ball State (0-4) @ Eastern Michigan (1-4) – (2-2, 6pm): Technically it’s a wash, but I don’t like that ‘0’ in the win column for Ball State.

Marshall (3-1) @ Buffalo (1-4) – (0-2, 1pm): Tetonka

Akron (2-3) @ Miami, OH (3-2) – (2-1, 2pm): Zip-a-di-do-dah, zip-a-di-day!

Ohio (0-4) @ Central Michigan (2-2) – (1-1, 1pm): Ohio. See Ball State above.

Northern Illinois (2-3) @ Kent State (1-4) – (1-1, 2pm): wash, pick ‘em

Cincinnati (2-2) @ UAB (2-3) – (1-2, 5pm): I think this is the first time the spell-check hasn’t gigged me over Cincy. Root for UAB.

ECU (2-3) @ Army (1-3) – (1-1, 1pm): Can’t root against the academies.

TCU (3-2) @ Tulane (1-5) – (0-1, 3:30pm): Mmmmm, Bourbon Street.

Wake Forest (2-3) @ Duke (0-¥ ) – (1-1, 1pm): I mean, really, who cares?

Troy State (1-3) @ Mississippi State (1-3) – (1-0, 2:30pm): What is the Troy State mascot anyways?

Middle Tennessee State (5-0) @ North Texas (0-5) – (1-0, 4:05pm): Keep the streak going.

LA-Lafayette (1-4) @ Arkansas State (0-4) – (1-0, 3pm): Hyphenated-LA

Western Illinois (3-1) @ Illinois State (0-5) – (0-1, 2:30pm): C’mon, ISU, please!

Richmond (0-4) @ James Madison (1-4) – (1-0, 1:30pm): Sorry, JMU fans, but you don’t play anyone on our schedule. Go Spiders!

SIMON FRASER (2-2) @ Eastern Washington (2-2) – (0-1, 4:05pm): Simon Fraser, a Div II team. I was really hoping we wouldn’t see another one of these. Anyways, check out this article from their athletics site. They absolutely crushed UBC (???) last weekend in the Shrum (???) Bowl "…in front of a roaring 2,500 fans…" at their stadium. Who-HOO! Anyways, root for EWU.

Well, that about wraps it up for this edition of the Weekend Rooting Guide. Of course, I’ll be back next week with another lineup for you to root for. That is, if somebody can scrape me off the floor of PK’s Saturday night. I’ll be the one in the white VT Independence Bowl cap that’s hugging the ground, trying to keep the Earth’s rotational motion from flinging me off into space.

But that’s a whole ‘nother story. ;^)

-- Matthew McKinley (Freddyburg Hokie)


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